Mössbauer spectroscopy study of iron-based catalysts used in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

K. R.P.M. Rao, F. E. Huggins, V. Mahajan, G. P. Huffman, V. U.S. Rao, B. L. Bhatt, D. B. Bukur, B. H. Davis, R. J. O'Brien

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Mössbauer spectroscopy investigation of iron-based Fischer-Tropsch (FT) catalysts from the US Department of Energy's LaPorte pilot plant demonstration run (August 1992) has revealed that the ratio of iron in the octahedral site to that in the tetrahedral site in magnetite correlates with the water-gas-shift activity. Studies of the catalysts from laboratory-scale fixed-bed reactor indicate that activation of the oxide precursor with CO results in the formation of χ-carbide (Fe5C2) whose amount decreases with increasing SiO2 content in the catalyst. The Fe5C2 is converted into Fe3O4 during FT synthesis. The FT activity of the catalyst is found to follow the trend of χ-carbide variation indicating that χ-carbide is active for the FT synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1995



  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
  • Mössbauer spectroscopy
  • iron-based catalysts
  • magnetite
  • pretreatment
  • water-gas shift activity
  • χ-carbide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Rao, K. R. P. M., Huggins, F. E., Mahajan, V., Huffman, G. P., Rao, V. U. S., Bhatt, B. L., Bukur, D. B., Davis, B. H., & O'Brien, R. J. (1995). Mössbauer spectroscopy study of iron-based catalysts used in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Topics in Catalysis, 2(1-4), 71-78. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01491956